How can I translate 100 images into words?
Photos / text: Christos Tsoumplekas
January 16, 2015
Last night I heard again the “little voice” inside my head calling me. Usually when the voice “whispers”, the day after I am found in an unexpected place, observing something new. Crete, winter, just ten days after the cold wave that passed and shuttered the island. Crete, a whole continent, becomes a different continent every season. But also each landscape hides within it another landscape, revealed only in certain circumstances. This is true for every place on earth. But I live in Crete, a tiny piece of land that encompasses the whole world. Perhaps this is why Kazantzakis was born here. The universal intellectual. The writer of humanity. I should not forget to take with me his book, "Spiritual Exercises”. It accompanies every little journey I make. No, I do not read it every time, I just have it in my bag as a sort of ‘insurance’. My little bible and refuge, in case I need it.
I should be there early in the morning. Usually miracles happen when most people sleep. In the hours when night and day negotiate their dominance in a little corner of the sky. They happen at dusk or dawn. Usually at dawn. Maybe because the silence of the night prepares the ground, providing a concealed ‘workshop’ for their creation. In these hours, poets and writers are inspired. Silence is essential to me, because this is when I listen best.
The alarm clock goes off at 4.30
It is difficult when its Friday night. But, as I calculated my time, I need about half an hour to get ready, an hour to drive there and I have to be there an hour early. I slept with difficulty, despite the weariness. It must have been one thirty in the morning, because this is when my middle son went to sleep...
4.20, my eyes open automatically. I want to get up, or I am already up and getting dressed. I drink two sips of coffee and I’m on my way… at least my mind is already there, at the Plateau. Now my body has to follow…
Don’t forget the camera
I wish I didn’t need it. If only the mind could capture forever what I am about to see and I was able to describe it to people so well that cameras would not be necessary. Never mind, either way I am not interested in the ‘technical’ aspect of whatever I am about to capture. I am never interested in the technical specifications of an image. Images are shaped in my mind and then they find their exodus, one way or another.
Plateau, time 5.50
Too dark, too cold. The first sunbeams shyly appear. I looked for you at dawn. Darkness breaks its silence and the clouds up in the sky seem to regain their shape, but I might be wrong. Again, Kazantzakis words come to advise me: “what means light after all? Look with a clear eye through all darkness”.
The sky starts to ‘crack’
I’m already out there, walking. Plateau, near Kato Metochi. I hear lyra melodies in my head. Where else could these melodies be born if not in this place? My head is full of sounds, guiding me through a silence that is gradually broken, together with the darkness.
Plateau, Kato Metochi, time 7.00
An endless sea arises ahead of me. An explosion of colors emerges from the East. I listen Ainur songs hidden in the sounds of Ross Daly’s “White Dragon". I am almost certain that any moment now I will see kouretes dancing, led by goddess Diktynna, on the surface of a colorful, peaceful lake. I am sure Zeus was raised in this region. A golden fountain poured upside down from the sky, while trees float on the water –or is it the sky?- exactly as the “little voice” in my head whispered to me the day before.
I can’t stop making images in my head. Sometimes I use the camera to record them (fortunately, at the end I always take it with me). How else would I keep alive what I see, listen and smell in such moments, even if it is just the 10% of the whole picture…?
January 16, 2015